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University of London: Organisation and City Level Sharing of Surplus Assets - Part Four

Welcome back! In part four of this series looking at organisation and city level sharing of surplus assets, we are focusing on the University of London.

 First, please watch the video below


Similar to the University of Glasgow, the University of London use Warp It for internal swaps and external swaps with other universities and other agencies, like the London Fire Brigade.

They recently did a major refurbishment, which meant there was a lot of stock on the system, creating a great deal of activity. Again we can see significant savings by introducing this tool and collaborating with others.

There are key lessons to be learned here. The University of London found out that by linking up with other organisations, there was a popular and legitimate disposal mechanism for their assets. They knew that without this system, the items were going to end up in the landfill, but with it, they could find homes within the city. There were extensive discussions with the finance and legal departments around the barriers regarding the introduction of our reuse system and again, they were not insurmountable.

What they’re trying to do in the University of London is challenge the ‘buy new' mentality.

As a result, they’re working with procurement to make sure that staff receive a reminder that a second hand item might be available on the system. This is a great idea for making participation fun.

John Bailey of the University of London added chocolate bars to his system and that encouraged staff to log in, claim a chocolate bar, and then through that they got used to how things work and that increased participation and impact. On their Warp It portal they trade mostly electrical items and explore the trade between labs internally. They’ve come to realise that before, a lot of their IT was just going straight to be recycled.

Recycling waste electronics is done at landfill or export, but there’s a great opportunity around reusing that IT internally. So they explored this with the legal team. They asked the legal team “How can we manage this legal issue?” and the legal team told them how, and it was very simple.

They already had good ties with various not-for-profits, so, they redistributed IT equipment internally and anything that was left over went out into the not-for-profit sector, where it was refurbished and resold, again, with an additional training opportunity to provide more social value.

Blink and you'll miss it.

Did you see?

Part one - Warp It Introduction

Part two - The City of Sunderland

Part three - University of Glasgow

Curious to read a top case study?

Check out what happened in Leeds

warp it case study


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Daniel O'Connor

Daniel O'Connor

I use my time and experience to contribute to the transition to a regenerative sustainable society for all.


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